“When I lived in Manchester in the 1950s, the pubs were bursting at the seams on Saturday evenings as fans got their weekly ration of jazz… In the Napoleon Inn, you had to ask the landlady to leave off playing the drums for a few minutes so she could go behind the bar and pull you a pint of Chester’s Fighting Mild.”
Harry Giltrap, CAMRA’s PINT magazine, 1982
In his diaries, published posthumously in 1894, General Sir James Hope Grant (1808–1875) recalled the siege of Delhi during the 1857 ‘Indian Mutiny’:
“I must here mention that during the terribly hot weather beer was my great stand-by. In fact, I scarcely think I could have existed without this balmy nectar — it put such vigour and strength into my sadly exhausted frame. We were also very fortunate, during the first three month, in procuring an ample supply of Bass and Allsopp’s best brew, as all the houses in the north [of India] sent as much as they could — knowing the uncertainty of being able to retain it in the state the country was in. I had as yet no A.D.C., when one day I received a note from Captain the Honourable Richard Curzon, who had been military secretary to General Anson before his death, asking me if I would take young Augustus Anson, who had lost his appointment as A.D.C. to his uncle. I at once agreed to do so, and the young gentleman accordingly came to my tent to introduce himself to me. He was an intelligent, good-looking young fellow, with a look of honest determination in his countenance which pleased me greatly; but as he felt a natural diffidence on his first appearance, and looked rather pale and worn out, I proceeded to my bed, drew out from underneath a bottle of sparkling beer, and gave him a tumbler of the delicious elixir. He had scarcely quaffed it off when the change appeared marvellous — his diffidence departed from him, his countenance brightened up with a rosy hue, and a great friendship was soon established between us.”
Picture from The National Media Museum.